Sister Mary John Paul
September 3, 2023
Sister Mary John Paul ND 5289 PDF Download
Mary Bernadette BOBAK
Immaculate Conception Province, USA
Date and Place of Birth: September 20, 1939 Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Profession: August 16, 1959 Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Death: August 29, 2023 Health Care Center, Chardon
Date and Place of Burial: August 31, 2023 Resurrection Cemetery, Chardon
Date and Place of Memorial Mass: September 2, 2023 Sisters of Notre Dame Center
Mary was the first of the six children born to John and Pauline (Kmets) Bobak. As a child, she was intrigued by everything and everyone. Her parents had loving, joy-filled hearts and deep faith – family was a source of strength. When her father brought her to St. Boniface convent to register for the first grade, Mary was deeply moved by the quiet of the house and the kindness of Sister Mary Padua Berning who would be her teacher. Then and there she decided to be a sister. “This thought stayed with me always, taking different forms at different times but was always in my head.” After two years at St. Boniface High School, Mary’s parents gave permission for her to become an aspirant at Notre Dame Academy in Cleveland. She entered the Sisters of Notre Dame as a postulant on February 2, 1957. At investment, she received the name Sister Mary John Paul.
Sister earned a bachelor of science degree from St. John College in Cleveland and a master’s degree in education from John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio. She ministered as a junior high teacher for sixteen years and then as a principal in three parish schools. Although Sister was not known for her organizational skills, she was very well-known and respected for her leadership style – compassionate, relational, insightful, always kind but firm. She strove to create a faith-filled environment where each person could grow and thrive. Sister was enthusiastic and energized by life-giving moments sometimes found in hidden places.
Sister Mary John Paul appreciated the simple things in life with her family and friends. Her good humor and infectious laugh helped to create a happy community. She had the ability to befriend a wide range of individuals in a variety of ministries. She served generously in SND community ventures – co-director of the SND Associates, member of the leadership team, coordinator of the Health Care pastoral care team. In these encounters, hundreds of people were blessed by her smile, her wisdom and her spirit.
She enjoyed jigsaw puzzles and was an avid reader of the daily newspaper. Sister cared deeply about human rights, care for creation and other prominent social issues of the day. The people of God, the Body of Christ—all were part of her journey.
This past May, Sister Mary John Paul was diagnosed with colon cancer. She faced the disease, and each of the major complications that followed, with courage and dignity. Many years ago, Sister wrote: “I have heard deep within me a call, ‘Come to the Father’ who is the undercurrent of my life always encouraging, comforting, challenging.”
Now she rests in the arms of our good and provident God.